Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) – A day after hitting his first two home runs
of the season, Josh Donaldson hit a walk-off home run to lead the Toronto Blue
Jays to a 6-5 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.
Toronto found itself down 4-0 before scoring three runs in the seventh. Jose
Bautista put the Blue Jays in front an inning later with a two-run home run,
but that lead was short-lived when Kelly Johnson tied the game with a solo
shot in the ninth off Miguel Castro. Donaldson was the only batter Sugar Ray
Marimon (0-1) faced in the 10th.
After Castro blew the save, Brett Cecil (1-1) kept Atlanta off the board in
the top of the 10th.
Freddie Freeman and A.J. Pierzynski homered off Toronto starter R.A. Dickey,
who allowed four runs on four hits and four walks in seven innings with six
Atlanta starter Alex Wood allowed three runs on nine hits and two walks in 6
2/3 innings but did not record any strikeouts.
Dickey, who has struggled with his control in his first two starts, only
needed four pitches to retire Cameron Maybin to open the game. He then allowed
a single to Alberto Callaspo in a three-ball count before walking Nick
Markakis and Freeman. Chris Johnson got Atlanta on the board with a
sacrifice fly, but Dickey struck out Pierzynski to avoid further trouble.
The first two Braves in the third struck out, and Dickey thought he
struck out the side against Markakis but did not get the call. Markakis
would walk, and Freeman capitalized by ripping his second home run in
as many days to right field.
The fourth inning did not start any better for Dickey. Pierzynski
hit the first pitch over the fence to extend Atlanta’s lead to 4-0. Jonny
Gomes almost went back-to-back, but his deep drive was caught on the warning
track by Kevin Pillar.
Danny Valencia collected his third hit of the day with a one-out double in the
seventh. Wood lost the shutout when Russell Martin singled to score
Valencia. Steve Tolleson tripled home Martin with two outs, and Dalton
Pompey’s infield hit pulled Toronto within 4-3 and knocked Wood from the game.
Devon Travis popped out against Brandon Cunniff to finally end the inning.
Atlanta failed to add insurance in the eighth when Markakis and Freeman were
stranded on base after opening the frame with back-to-back
singles. In the bottom half of the inning, Donaldson singled off Jim
Johnson, and Bautista hit a towering home run to left field to give the
Blue Jays their first lead.
That lead only lasted three pitches. Kelly Johnson greeted Castro with
a leadoff home run, and Castro had to work out of a two-out jam with Eric
Young Jr. on second base.
Valencia finished with four hits, and Donaldson reached base four times …
Toronto is now 1-4 in one-run games this season … The all-time series
between these teams is now tied at 18 … Dickey had pitched nine straight
quality starts … Atlanta fell to 5-1 when scoring first … Sunday’s rubber
game pits Atlanta’s Shelby Miller against Toronto’s Daniel Norris.